Non molestation / occupation orders - short term intervention only
01 April 2010
This case involved a husband (our client) and wife who were not British Citizens. They had been living in the UK for several years. The relationship broke down and the husband obtained a divorce in the country where the parties had married. Over 6 months after the parties separated the wife applied for an ex-parte Non Molestation and Occupation Order in respect of what was the former matrimonial home (which was a rented property). Both were granted ex-parte i.e. on the wife’s evidence alone. The matter was listed for a hearing where our client was given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
The husband offered undertakings at the return hearing however these were rejected by the wife and the matter was listed for a contested hearing.
Due to court delay and the wife’s legal aid position the final hearing took place 6 months after the ex-parte hearing. The wife sought to rely on 8 specific allegations however had no witnesses and was relying on her own evidence. The husband had some evidence to negate the wife’s position and had a witness in support. After hearing the evidence the district judge made no findings in relation to any of the allegations. The district judge stated that such applications are emergency interim interventions between related parties. They are provisions of last resort to protect vulnerable parties from unacceptable behaviour.
Our client successfully defended what were serious allegations against him.